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Medias Influence On Body Image Essay

2173 words - 9 pages

There has been much research done regarding the media’s portrayal of celebrities and how it affects both men and women's view on body image. Although there has been little change within the last few years on what is now viewed as beautiful, women and men are still going to extreme lengths to achieve the “perfect” body image. The media influences men and women through their depiction on how celebrities look as well as how they make them appear. Through the use of airbrushing and other techniques, magazines and other media outlets change the appearance of a celebrity and create a more perfect look, which is then, what society is seeing. Men and women are striving to look like images that are ...view middle of the document...

The study consisted of sixteen discussion groups involving adolescent females aged 15-16. Eight of the girls were from rural areas as well as eight from urban areas. The results of this study support the hypothesis that celebrities and the media do have an impact how adolescent girls view their body image. The results show that there were no obvious factors in the difference of the girl’s locations (Mooney et al., 2009). In regards to celebrities influence on the girl’s body image, it was found that there was indeed influencing forces contributing to the girls view on body image. Additionally, when asked about the media’s influence it was found that the girls thought that the media portrayed beautiful and popular women as thin. This was shown through examples from television shows and endorsements, a participant was stated saying, “the majority of the younger women in soap programmes were thin” (Mooney et al., 2009, pg. 488). Not only did celebrities and the media have an influence on what the girls viewed as beautiful, but the study also found that boys as well as peers also have an enormous influence on the girls too. It was found that the girls believed their chances improved by having a boyfriend if they were skinny, further they believed that boys concentrate more on women's looks rather than their personalities (Mooney et al., 2009). All of the results combined confirm the hypothesis that the media and celebrities have an influence on the way adolescent girls view their bodies as well as additional factors influencing they way they view themselves. One limitation to this particular study is that group sessions may have a negative result in the studies. Different personalities might overshadow others preventing some of the girls from expressing how they really feel. More group sessions could have provided more information as well as more diversity in the groups. The group sessions may also have benefited from some male perspectives on some of the issues suggested in the sessions.
The next study also looked at preadolescent and adolescent girls and how they compare themselves to figures in the media. In a research article by Veldhuis, Konijn, and Seidell (2012) which questions whether or not weight information labels can challenge the way adolescents view media figures and how adolescent girls compare themselves to media models. The study involved 184 adolescent girls who were randomly selected from three different schools. In the study the girls were given questionnaires as well as three pictures of women with different weight labels under their picture, those being “This woman is 6 kilo underweight,” “This woman is 3 kilo underweight,” and “This woman has a normal weight” (Veldhuis et al., 2012, pg. 602). The results supported the hypothesis that by adding in normal weight information labels it is possible for adolescent girls to feel more positive about themselves. In the results the study showed that those girls who were shown...

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